Election in Bihar will be held from October 12 to November 5. It will be a 5-phase poll. And counting will be held on November 8. The Election Commission announced the dates in a press conference in Delhi on Wednesday afternoon.
Polling for the 243-seat Bihar assembly begins on October 12. In the first phase, 49 assembly constituencies will vote. Last date for filing of nomination for phase 1 is September 23.
In the 2nd phase only 32 assembly constituencies will vote on the 16th of October. The last date for filing of nomination for this phase will be September 28.
Capital Patna votes in the crucial 3rd phase along with 49 other constituencies on the 28th of October. The last date for filing nomination for this phase is October 8.
In the fourth phase which polls on the 1st of November, 55 constituencies will vote. Last date for the candidates to file nomination is set to October 14.
Maximum constituencies will poll in the last and final phase. 57 constituencies will vote on 5th of November, which is about a week before the Hindu festival of Diwali. The last date for the candidates to file their nominations for this phase has been set to October 15.
Counting for all the five phases will be held together on November 8, which is 3 days ahead of Diwali.
Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi promised to ensure communal harmony since important festivals like Dussehra, Eid, Muharram, Diwali and Chhath were falling in the election period.
The commission also declared that the model code of conduct comes into effect immediately and anyone found violating it will be strictly penalised.
Bihar is a ‘stand alone’ election, and thus the availability of central forces to help conduct the polls will not be a problem. There are over 6.68 crore voters in the state and the term of the current Assembly expires on November 29, said the Election Commissioner.
In Bihar, the Janata Parivar has come together as an anti-Modi bloc to counter the BJP led NDA. Old foes Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad have joined hands to tackle the BJP. Recently, there was a split in the Janata Pariwar as Samajwadi Party, which is led by Mulayam Singh Yadav, decided to fight the elections alone after a seat sharing spat with the RJD and JD(U).
The Parivar, after much back and forth decided to make Nitish Kumar as its chief ministerial face. In the seat-sharing talks, it was decided that the RJD and the JD(U) will contest from 100 seats each. And the Congress will contest from 40 seats. The remaining 3 seats were to be given to minor parties who don’t have much presence in the state.
After ruling the state for ten years, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is seeking a third term in alliance with RJD and Congress after he walked out of NDA in June, 2013 snapping 17-year-old ties with BJP.
BJP, which had almost swept the state in the Lok Sabha polls in an alliance with Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP and Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP, is hoping to repeat its performance. The seat-sharing talks between the NDA allies have been inconclusive so far. The alliance is set to finalise it in the 2 to 3 days, said LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan.